And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.…
I. IT IS THROUGH DIVINE STRENGTH THAT VICTORIES ARE WON.
1. The Spirit of the Lord came mightily on Samson. God trains men for the work they have to do; if they are to be deliverers, saviours, then their training shall be physical — as in the case of Samson; his conflict with the lion would prepare him for repeated encounters with the Philistines.
2. It was when Samson was about to enter public life that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. It is in the freshness of youth, before the mind is saturated with worldliness and the heart incrustated with selfishness, that there are Divine visitations.
II. LIFE IS THE HISTORY OF VICTORY AND DEFEAT. A man may slay a lion, but have no control over himself; he may be physically strong, but morally weak. Many of our defeats are to be traced to our self-confidence and self-love, to our forgetfulness of God. If we have won any victories, they are to be traced to Divine grace and strength.
III. PAST VICTORIES ARE NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN. On a subsequent occasion Samson turned aside to see the lion he had slain. God will not have us forget the past, or the way by which we have reached our present position (Deuteronomy 8:2-5). All our Sabbaths, and sacraments, and sermons, are always saying to us, "Thou shalt remember." They remind us of the great victory gained for us by the Captain of our salvation, in which we are permitted to claim our part.
IV. WE GET STRENGTH AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE REMEMBRANCE OF PAST VICTORIES. If ever you have slain a lion, be sure that eventually it will yield you honey. You have overcome doubt — you have strengthened faith. You have vanquished sin — you have increased holiness. You have conquered fear — you have gained strength. We learn, too, that there is a Divine power ever at work in this world. From the secret place of thunder come forth the streams that make glad the world. The light is born in darkness. Good comes out of evil.
(H. J. Bevis.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.